21st Century & Gaming

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Violent games should be considered a health risk as great as drug addiction. Repeated exposure to violent video-games may have cumulative effect of aggression on an individual.

Jalib Beigh

CHILDHOOD development is influenced by wide range of factors, governed by both nature and nurture. There are several factors which influence the development process of children especially the environment which has time and again proved to be of more crucial value than any other factor. From print media to internet our environment has changed drastically from past several years. Internet is ruling our lives in modern times. Same is the case in gaming.

From BRICK GAME to PUBG, video gaming has also changed considerably. From last decade, video games have become the dominant form of entertainment worldwide. Not surprisingly, the ubiquitous nature of video games coupled with children and teens who do not know when to stop playing once started. Talking about the latest trend in gaming, the violent video games like “PUBG” are on the tip of tongue of every child, young as well as adults. With 20 million daily active users globally PUBG is one of the most popular violent video game today. There are many other games which are of the same category show casting sheer violence and killing. With these games, the gamer learns to associate violence with pleasure, rewards for hunting another character while under normal conditions, human emotional wiring is designed to abhor violence and feel rewarded for helping others. Those who play violent video games build opposite intuitions that they take into rest of life. Whatever a person practices repeatedly becomes an automatic response.

Studies have found short term and long term negative effects of playing violent games that include increased aggressive thoughts, feeling, behaviour and decreased prosocial behaviour. Neuro-scientific studies show reduced cognitive brain functions in individuals exposed to violent games. The lower was the activation of brain areas for learning, thinking, reasoning and emotional control. Violent video games instruct children how to behave like a criminal and intentionally hurt others’. Diminishing empathy, pleasure in the pain of others, well-practiced criminal behaviour, decreased capacity for mature decision making, bad physical health, bad mental health, less sleep and bad academic scores were some of the effects of exposure to violent games. With the advent of these games children neglect hobbies, sports, friends, argue frequently with family members who try to limit gaming and put little or no effort into school work. The WHO in 2018 declared gaming addiction as mental health disorder. Addiction to video games increases the depression and anxiety levels.

Violent games should be considered a health risk as great as drug addiction. Repeated exposure to violent video-games may have cumulative effect of aggression on an individual. From past more than a few years parenting has also changed. There was no surfing Instagram, checking email, or returning text messages while nursing the baby or having family time in the living room. We were engaged with our parents as children. These days, whether we’d like to admit it or not, there is less direct communication due to distraction our parents didn’t text us to come downstairs when it was time for dinner. They didn’t text us a list of to-dos’ or a thought that came to mind. Families communicated to each other face-to-face because internet wasn’t so popular at that time. Now, Parents feel nurturing of their children as a burden on them. Parenting shouldn’t be a burden on parents they should guide their children for their betterment. Parents must restrict their children to play these kinds of violent games. There are plenty of games with creative and educational value. The most obvious example is the building simulator Minecraft, which can teach players everything from architecture and physics to electronics and geology. Anyone can have a child and call themselves a parent, but a real parent is someone who teaches and guides their children about the value of time, health, and lives.

-Author can be reached at: jalibbeigh@gmail.com>

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